How do you find relief on really, really bad days?
“It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”
How many times has someone said this to you? Indeed, it comes from a place of love, comfort, and I’m-not-sure-what-to-say-but-I-see-you-are-on-the-verge-of-a-mental-breakdown concern. However, if you’re anything like me, you are looking for a solution and for practical ways to find relief on a really, really bad day.
This short yet powerful list is a compilation of tips I’ve learned over the past few years as I experienced life in the baseball industry, moving three times a year … with kids, and no certainty of where we’re living for the next year. Although our stories may differ, we have all experienced frustration, embarrassment, exhaustion, or hopelessness during a tough day. I will never claim to have all the answers, but I hope to encourage and remind you that tomorrow is a fresh start.
On top of that, here are some realistic, simple, and practical tips to bring relief on a really, really bad day.
Hot water + holy basil ASAP. Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is considered the strongest cortisol dissolving herb on the planet. Cortisol is a stress hormone that, when experienced in excess, can lead to a plethora of emotional and even physical issues. Obviously, an herb won’t be the answer to helping calm your stressful days, but it’s a powerful tool that should absolutely be utilized.
Give yourself a break— 20 minutes is all you need. This is essential for your well-being, especially when you feel like you’re on the brink of a meltdown. It’s our tendency as busy mothers to ignore our feelings and keep on trucking, but I encourage you to give yourself a break. You’re allowed to put your hands up for 20-60 minutes. Listen to your thoughts, assess the situation, and sit with your emotions.
- Put your feet up the wall (20 minutes)
- Meditate (20 minutes)
- Take a walk (30-40 minutes)
- Grab a coffee or tea by yourself (60 minutes)
- Show up for the deep stretch yoga class (60 minutes)
- Take a bath (20 minutes)
- Listen to your favorite music (15-30 minutes)
- Take a nap (30 minutes)
Eat your favorite food (or make the healthy version of your favorite food). They call it comfort food for a reason. I’m not suggesting that you cook a full batch of cookies and eat them all in one sitting, but make something that will nourish your soul and give you a boost of energy.
Communicate. Tell your husband, your friend, your kids, or your mom that you’re having a hard time. You’re not complaining as long as you stay honest and avoid playing the victim. It’s not weak to tell people you’re struggling. It’s honest, courageous, an opportunity to humble ourselves and seek guidance. We need community to uplift us and help us in times of trial.
Write down your thoughts and express gratitude. This may sound silly to you, but when you write out your thoughts, it helps you mentally organize everything that’s running through your brain. You can also pinpoint what’s triggering your emotional turmoil. Not enough alone time? Do you need more sleep? Do you need a date night? Once you have labeled your emotions, write down ten reasons to be grateful. Nothing too tricky, but you will quickly notice a mood shift when you choose to focus on the positives.
All these tips listed above are proven ways to reduce cortisol in the body, a hormone secreted in response to stress. As this is crucial to help your body fight in dire situations, the release of cortisol too often can keep our body in fight-or-flight mode.
I only know of this because I was someone who felt stressed, down, and depleted more than I felt joyful. It came from bad days, grey skies, toddler craziness, moving, etc. I was losing hair, irritable, gaining weight, and didn’t have an appetite at the same time. My body was stuck in fight-or-flight mode because of my inability to handle daily stressors and give my mind and body a break.
Again, you don’t have to change your life or stop your entire day. Knowledge in regards to stress, awareness, and living intentionally can substantially assist you on your really, really bad days. Wishing you relief and joy today.